Riu Melao

Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Caribbean
#56 of 153 hotels in Punta Cana
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 1 review

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Great all-inclusive

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on January 4, 2004

The Riu hotel chain has 5 adjacent hotels in Punta Cana, each with a slightly different layout. Guests can use the amenities in any of the hotels. We had a wonderful time and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing beach holiday.

The pools were small but clean and I loved the swim-up bars in two of the hotels!

The hotels are right on the beach and have a large strip of private beach with a plentiful amount of comfortable lounging chairs and lots of palm trees if you want to snooze in the shade.

The restaurants are mostly buffet and very good as far as all-inclusives go. They were prefect for breakfasts, snacks, and lunches, although by the time dinner came around I preferred a la carte. However, the variety and quality was very good, even for dinner.

The rooms were very nice and kept immaculately clean by the cleaning staff. We had a balcony which included a rack to dry your swim suits. Don't forget to ask the front desk for an adaptor for your appliances. They use the same voltage but different plugs. Good TV, lots of English channels. There are also well-stocked bars and fridges with soft drinks in each room and a big jug of drinking water, all replenished every other day unless you ask for sooner. We hardly used the bar at all since there were so many (all-inclusive) bars on the property to choose from. Unlike all-inclusives in Mexico, the bartenders didn't water down the drinks either and were quite amenable to making the drinks "mui forte" with or without a tip. We tipped our favourite bartenders near the end of the week (and would highly recommend doing so) but got the impression that they are cheerful and helpful to all the guests.

There were tons of beach games, dance classes, aquasize, etc. organized by a very hardworking staff, if you are into that. You could win t-shirts and bottles of rum. After entertaining guests all day the same staff would be involved in the evening entertainment on stage. the shows were mostly dance numbers and fairly entertaining, if rather cheesy.

Unique Quality: FAMILY-ORIENTED: Although we went without kids, the hotel was very family-oriented. There were lots of extended families and even weddings and family reunions there. The Riu Bambu also had a special kids club, play area and childminding facilities. On Christmas day Santa came down to the beach and handed out gifts to all the children!

OCEAN: I loved the ocean water. Being on the Atlantic side of the DR I thought it might have been cooler, but it was actually very warm (warmer than the pool). The wave action was playful but not overwhelming. Near the end of the week the waves picked up enough that you could do some body surfing if you wanted. we brought a big air mattress with us and spent some time lazing around on the ocean.

WEATHER: While we were there the temp averaged about 28 C during the day. It was only very rainy one day, with a few clouds here and there on most of the other days. When the sun was out it was HOT, even with the lovely ocean breeze. Since it is a tropical climate the rain comes quickly and fiercely (but it's still warm!) and goes away again just as quickly. I gather that rain is not uncommon since each room comes equipped with an umbrella, but we only used ours once!

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